February 8, 2023

After they had their five-game winning streak snapped on Monday by the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers tried to start a new streak on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.

For much of the night, it seemed there was a lid on the basket for L.A., as it had trouble hitting. After falling behind early by double-digits, it was able to fight back and make things very competitive in the fourth quarter by taking advantage of 16 Dallas turnovers.

But in the end, the Mavs were able to make more plays in a grind-it-out double overtime contest, as they pulled out the victory by the final score of 119-115.

The Lakers shot a paltry 39.3 percent overall, 24.4 percent from 3-point range and 63.0 percent from the free throw line while allowing Luka Doncic to go off for 35 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. Ultimately, they only have themselves to blame for this setback.

LeBron James: C-

For some reason, James seemed to be playing in slow motion on Thursday. He had trouble getting his perimeter shot to fall, and he often settled for the perimeter shot instead of consistently attacking the hoop.

He finished 9-of-28 from the field and missed all seven of his 3-point attempt, although he did manage to put up 24 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists and two steals.

Juan Toscano-Anderson: C

Toscano-Anderson went just 1-of-5 from the field and finished with four points, three rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes. The Lakers need him to attempt more 3-pointers when he’s open in order to stretch the floor for his teammates.

With no one hitting consistently from downtown for the Lakers, the Mavs loaded up defensively in the paint and just outside of it whenever James had the ball, preventing him from launching any forays to the hoop in the halfcourt game.

Thomas Bryant: B

Bryant had nine rebounds in 24 minutes, but he was somewhat underwhelming offensively, as he went 5-of-10 and scored 11 points. Interestingly, he didn’t play down the stretch, as head coach Darvin Ham chose to play Wenyen Gabriel at the 5.

Dennis Schroder: C-

Schroder got his teammates involved to an extent with six assists against zero turnovers. However, he couldn’t get himself going offensively, as he went 3-of-13 overall and 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Max Christie: B/B+

Christie was in the starting lineup for the second straight game, taking the place of Patrick Beverley, who had a non-COVID-19 illness. The rookie scored seven points on 3-of-6 shooting and had five rebounds and one blocked shot in 29 minutes.

He also had some moments of good defense against Doncic, as his length and effort were able to bother the Slovenian native.

Wenyen Gabriel: A

Gabriel was a big reason the Lakers stayed in this contest until the end of the second overtime. In 33 minutes he converted 6-of-8 from the field, including a big 3-pointer with 1:58 left in the fourth quarter, to go along with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

Troy Brown Jr.: B

Brown shot 3-of-8 overall and 2-of-6 from downtown in his first game back after missing the last three because of a quad ailment.

There was some controversy at the end of regulation, as he shot what could’ve been the game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation but appeared to get hacked. No foul was called, and it was one of several plays in which the Lakers felt they got the short end of the stick from the referees.

Russell Westbrook: B+

Westbrook was perhaps the only Laker who played up to his standards on Thursday. He sparked them right away after coming into the game by attacking the paint early and often, and in the second quarter, he started to drop dimes.

He finished 10-of-23 overall and 3-of-6 from downtown to score 28 points, to go along with seven rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes. Westbrook also played good defense and hustled after loose balls, as he drew a charge late in the first quarter and got two steals.

Kendrick Nunn: C+

Nunn shot well from beyond the arc, going 3-of-8 from that distance, but overall he was a poor 4-of-11, giving him 12 points in 19 minutes.

Cole Swider, Sterling Brown: Incomplete

Swider and Brown got three and two minutes of playing time, respectively, and neither scored a point.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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